Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A couple of days off

Ever since my cancer scares a few years ago, I've been religious about my annual "woman's issues" appointments. Every year in the spring, I make my ob-gyn appointment and my mammogram appointment for sometime around the first of May. My doctors are close to where I live, and since I work so far away, I make both appointments for the same day, and take the whole day off. Also, it feels kind of yucky to go back to work after either one of those things . . .

So yesterday, Monday, was my doctors' appointments day. The ob-gyn was at noon, and the mammogram was at 1:45. On Sunday night it was really nice to know that I didn't have to get up and go to work the next morning, even though the reason for it wasn't exactly exciting. I really love my doctor. I didn't start going to him until after my surgery--he was the surgeon in the practice where I had been going for a long time, and my regular nurse-midwife had some health issues and took some time off around the same time.

I went to the surgeon for the after-surgery appointments, and when the time came for my regular appointments, I just stuck with him. So while not exactly pleasant, the appointments aren't bad, and it's always nice to see and talk with him. And the mammogram isn't usually bad, either. I go to an imaging center, and they're always very kind, and make it as pleasant as possible.

This year when I scheduled my day off, I decided I could really use some actual time off, i.e., time that wasn't spent at the doctor's office, so I took an additional two days of vacation. I wanted to do a little bit of sewing, maybe clean out a drawer or two (probably not going to happen), just have a little more time to myself. So yesterday when I left the imaging center, I thought, now I'm free for two days!

I haven't exactly taken the time off completely -- I've been checking email and coordinating stuff from afar, corresponding with clients and being sure that things are done -- but as Bob said, I can do it in my pajamas.

I can't tell you how much I love the iPad! I, along with one of the other guys at work, have been trying as hard as I can to get completely paperless at the office. I no longer carry a notebook and pen to meetings, I carry the iPad. And a stylus, if I remember. It's not as seamless, or as easy, as paper and pen, but I feel like I need to do it.

The other things I've been doing with it are playing "Words With Friends" constantly with one of my nieces, playing Scrabble with people at work, and reading. A LOT of reading. The ease of using the Kindle app on the iPad is, of course, a blessing and a curse. When I was out at my parents' house on Mother's Day, I took the iPad along so I could show my folks some photographs. My brother and sister-in-law came by while I was there, and we got into a discussion of books and ereaders. My sister-in-law is a big reader, too, and gets most of her books from the library, as did I until I started using the Kindle.

I don't know I if she would like an ereader or not--she wasn't sure about it--but I love it. With the Kindle, or the Kindle app, you can download a preview of a book--usually a couple of chapters--to see if it's something that you want to buy. If it isn't, just delete it, and you've spent nothing but a little bit of time. If you want to continue reading it, you just click the "buy this book" link, and within seconds, you can just keep on reading. And, of course, buy the rest of a series, or the rest of an author's backlist, in most cases.

I still use SwagBucks as my search engine, and earn Amazon gift cards that way--I've been doing it a little less than a year, and have earned $275, which buys a lot of eBooks! I also pay attention to the free and bargain ebook blogs, such as Pixel of Ink, and pick up quite a few books that way. You can also get ebook news by signing up for mailing lists from your favorite authors. I got an email this morning that Kim Harrison's first "Avery Madison" book, Once Dead, Twice Shy, was available for a promotional price of $1.99 because the third book in the series is coming out soon.

On Sunday my brother said, "I guess it's only a matter of time before the library has ebooks to lend," and I told him that it has already happened. It took awhile for them to available on the Mac platform, but my library has recently--within the last month or so--started making ebooks available. Once the lending period has passed, the ebook is either removed from your device or you can no longer open it--I'm not sure about that part yet--so no late fees. The selection doesn't seem to be that great so far, but I'm sure that will improve.

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